Last month, Michelle Shepard reported on the terrorist plans outlined in the documents found on Fazul Abdullah Mohammed (AKA Fazul) when he was killed at a Mogadishu security checkpoint in the summer of 2011. Shepard describes in her article how Fazul intended to use operatives to conduct attacks in London. She notes:
“Our objectives are to strike London with low-cost operations that would cause a heavy blow amongst the hierarchy and Jewish communities,” begins the document labelled “International Operations.”
the document continues noting,
“These attacks must be backed with a carefully planned media campaign to show why we chose our targets to refute hypocrites, clear doubts amongst Muslims and also inspire Muslim youth to copy.”
The next two pages show specific plans for the hotels, for Eton school on opening day and for London’s Stamford Hill and Golders Green neighbourhoods, which are populated with “tens of thousands of Jews crammed in a small area.”
Check out the article for some more of the gory details outlined by Fazul. My guess, based on the insights from Shepard’s article, is that Fazul may have been influenced by the Mumbai attacks as the description from the article sounds familiar to the LeT assault in India. There’s several interesting facets of this article.
- Lots of plans, but few fully executed plots – Fazul was not only elusive for CT forces but carried a track record having helped perpetrate the Embassy bombings, the Paradise hotel attack and nearly missed shooting down a jet liner. But, Fazul’s final years were relatively quiet on the external operations front (Although, I do wonder about his involvement in the Uganda suicide bombing, though I have no idea). Likewise, those attacks in Kenya attributed to Shabaab (uncertain reliability) appear quite amateurish in planning and execution.
- Somali Diaspora as a terrorism conduit – Since 9/11, many have warned about Middle Eastern Diaspora communities harboring/recruiting al Qaeda terrorists. At least in the U.S., there appears to be no evidence to support this fear. However, the Somali Diaspora has been a relatively fertile recruiting ground for Shabaab in the U.S. (i.e. Minneapolis) and Europe (i.e. London, Sweden). I’m not saying all Somali Diaspora’s are producing Shabaab recruits, but there appears to a stronger connection/fabric amongst Somali Diaspora members than other Diasporas. Fazul, I’m guessing, intended to use these Diaspora connections to execute his London plot.